If you've been following along on Instagram, you know we've been hard at work rearranging the store to make room for a new stationery nook. Aside from books, the most-often requested item at The Bookshelf is stationery: notecard sets, thank you notes, birthday cards, stationery for men, Moleskine journals. They all scream "bookstore" to us, and it made sense to create a little corner of the store just for paper products. It's a work in progress, and there's still a lot to be done, but the "Wrappings, Writings, and Wares" section of our shop is well on its way.
And because we love art almost as much as we love paper, we recruited Bookshelf summertime staffer Ashley Sherlock to create pretty canvases for the walls of our new nook. We love her style, and the completed canvases are just what we were hoping for. (And they're for sale, in case you're wondering. She'll even do custom pieces, if that's your kind of thing.)
We thought it'd be fun for you to get to know the creator of those pretty pieces, so here's a little interview with Ashley. We bet you'll love her -- and her work -- as much as we do!
Okay, Ashley. Tell us your secret: What are your top sources of inspiration?
I really love to hear what other people are interested in, so I’m always asking my friends and family what they’d like to see. Nature is a lovely source that never fails me. Also, Pinterest. Of course.
Every artist has their own MO. Describe your creative process.
Once I get an idea for a painting, I have to write it down so I don’t forget it. Then I sketch out a few possibilities. I really love to paint words, so I’ll tinker with fonts and designs and colors until I’ve found a combination that I love. And I’ve discovered that I do my best work while I’m sitting on the floor -- I don’t know why. Also, I think getting paint all over myself (face, arms, legs... who knows how it gets there?) is a part of my process. It happens every time.
What do you love about the artistic process?
I really love the beginning process. I love to sketch and play with different ideas before anything is set in stone.
Is their a soundtrack for your work? What do you listen to while you paint?
I often don’t listen to music while painting. I’m afraid I’ll get too into a song and start painting the lyrics instead of what I’m supposed to! I do, however, thoroughly enjoy watching Gilmore Girls or Friends while putting brush to canvas.
Do you have a favorite medium?
Acrylic paint on a canvas is fun, but it’s not that easy either. I really enjoy watercolor -- it’s kind of different. But my favorite would probably just be pen and paper.
What's the favorite painting you've ever done?
Picking a piece of my own as a favorite is hard for me. When it comes to my own work, I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so I’m never really completely satisfied with it. I kind of view my paintings as a “there’s always room for improvement” type of thing.
I know you love words, so what's your quote are you repeating to yourself these days?
“Do everything with so much love in your heart that you would never want to do it any other way.”
And of course, I have to ask: What books are on your nightstand right now?
I just finished a book called Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid, and I just started Quiet by Susan Cain. I highly recommend both. And one of my goals for the summer is to read through the whole New Testament, so my Bible accompanies whatever else I am reading.